The implementation of e-way bill would reduce wait time at checkpoints by around 15 per cent and ease inter-state movement of goods, says a report by rating agency India Ratings. The report says: "Over the long run, e-way bills would ease the inter-state movement of goods. Various operational inefficiencies would be minimised and the wait time at checkpoints is expected to decrease by around 15 per cent".
In the medium to long run, it predicts streamlined systems would enhance the system-wide capacity by improving fleet efficiency. "This may result in an available capacity overhang in relation to freight demand in the absence of a meaningful pick-up in economic activities," says the report.
It is believed that before GST a typical truck would spent 20 per cent of its run time at interstate checkposts. After the implementation of GST and removal of interstate checkposts, travel time of long-haul trucks and other cargo vehicles have been cut by at least one-fifth. An analysis by the All India Motors Transport Congress, a body of transporters (cargo and passenger), shows that time to cross state borders has come down by two to five hours after the GST. The study found that most states have done away with the requirement for physical transit pass, stamping, online transit and documents checking at border checkposts.
It was, however, feared that with the implementation of the e-way bill, both inter- and intra-state, the checkposts would come up in new avatar in the form of flying squad of Commercial Tax officers, reversing the smooth flow of trucks at inter-state borders. However, India Ratings says that with the passage of the e-way bill, streamlined inspection rules, use of technology and time-bound closure of inspection movement of goods would be faster. It also says that the use of IT-enabled tools like RFID at checkposts would further reduce the wait time.
The report also says that the implementation of e-way bills would facilitate the timely settlement of input tax credit claims in inter-state transactions. "A substantial portion of ITC claims in inter-state transactions is under dispute or has been declined due to differences in invoice values and the returns uploaded by suppliers and buyers," it says. It estimates that the input credits of around Rs 1 lakh crore is locked up due to such disputes.